Growing up, I had a soft spot for fictional brunette bookworms. Hermione Granger, Matilda Wormwood and Rory Gilmore were inspirations, but they weren’t me. I never felt exactly like them, because they were good at school and I wasn’t, really. I was distracted, a daydreamer, lost in my own world. But then people would assume that because I read so much, I had to be good at school, and I don’t think the two correlated at all. But then, we have Belle.
It certainly helped in some ways. I picked up a broad vocabulary and a gleaming of general knowledge. I had trouble spelling – which lead to comments of “But you read so much?!?!” from my parents. As I would much prefer to be reading fantasy stories when I was younger then classics or non-fiction, it didn’t help much for my schoolwork. My tastes have matured since then, but I still love a good fairy tale. Most of what Belle seems to read appears to be in the same vein. Her books contain ogres and Prince Charming.
School isn’t ever mentioned in the animated Beauty and the Beast, but Belle is described as “dazed and distracted, can’t you tell?” Maybe, like me, she would have been happier looking out the window than paying attention in class. Imagining herself in the lives of her fictional world. She’s different and doesn’t fit in with everyone else in her town, like me in school. She was a brunette bookworm I could really relate to.
Living in a small town, I had the same desire to escape. To travel the world, or even just live somewhere more exciting, like a city (or an enchanted castle). She wanted adventure, like I do too. She also has no patience for men like Gaston. Please, give me half her strength when dealing with them. She’s willing to look past someone’s appearance to see what they’re like inside, something I always try to do.
I make this on a hope and a prayer that Disney gets the live-action one right. From the moment Emma Watson was announced, I’ve been apprehensive. Please, don’t make her into Hermione 2.0. They’re different characters, and they deserve to be treated as such. Please, let them remain distinct. Hermione, the uptight bookworm, and Belle the dreamer. I know Disney can do it, considering the excellent job they made on the live-action Cinderella. Don’t let me down, Disney.